Zoom 4501 3G router review

We review the Zoom 4501 wireless router to see if this budget product offers benefits that usually live outside such price points.

The 4501 has an outstanding web interface, with clearly marked and annotated menu options and a decent range of features, including URL blocking, remote administration from a designated IP address, basic QoS to prioritise traffic across designated ports or IP addresses, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) support to help you monitor devices on your network and support for Dynamic DNS from providers including DynDNS and TZO. These services provide a URL that always points at your IP address, even if your ISP only provides a dynamic IP address rather than a static one. The DDNS client on the router notifies the service every time your IP address changes.

Zoom 4501 3G router

A handy status screen provides at-a-glance network connection information to both administrators and standard users.

The 4501 also supports a wide range of 3G dongles, including all the Huawei and ZTE models we've seen from UK mobile broadband providers. A regularly updated list is available on the Zoom website so users can check support for their 3G modem before they buy.

Verdict

Although it's sold as a desktop router, the 4501 is compact enough to travel with easily, making it suitable for short-to-medium term onsite workers, in addition to its obvious use as a home or small office router.

Its ability to failover from a wired WAN to 3G connection is valuable for businesses that require constant net access and its web interface is flexible but extremely easy to use. At just £39 (ex VAT), Zoom's 4501 is a solid budget 3G router, although its limited range and few ports means that it's best used to connect devices over a relatively small area

802.11b/g (150Mbit/s), 2x 10/100 LAN ports, 2x WAN ports , UPnP, QoS, 32x130x121mm, one year RTB warranty.

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